Also nicknamed the "Apache” or “Invader," the A-36A dive bomber was the first US Army Air Forces version of the Mustang, officially developed for Britain in 1940. The first A-36 flew in September 1942, and North American Aviation completed production of 500 A-36As in March 1943.
Assigned to the 27th and 86th Bombardment Groups (Dive), the A-36A first saw action over the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria in June 1943. During the Italian campaign, A-36A pilots flew bomber escort and strafing missions as well as ground support bombing attacks. A-36As also served with the 311th Fighter-Bomber Group in India. In 1944, bomb rack equipped P-51s and P-47s replaced the A-36A when experience showed that these high-altitude fighters were more suitable for low-level missions than the A-36As.
The Museum’s A-36A was donated by Charles P. Doyle of Rosemount, Minnesota and was restored by members of the Minnesota Air National Guard. It is marked to represent the A-36A flown by Capt Lawrence Dye, a pilot of the 522nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron, during combat in North Africa and Italy.
Six .50-cal. machine guns; 1,000 lbs of bombs externally
Allison V-1710 of 1,325 hp
32 ft. 3 in.
12 ft. 2 in.
10,000 lbs. loaded
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